July 12, 2020

The storm for the massacre of 8 minors tombs the Colombian Minister of Defense

The storm unleashed by the death of at least eight minors in a military bombing, a fact hidden for months by the Government of President Iván Duque and revealed during a parliamentary debate, ended on Wednesday with the resignation of the Colombian Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero.

It all began on Tuesday with a late debate in the Senate in which Botero was subjected to a motion of censure for his management at the head of the Defense portfolio, which has been assigned a larger budget in the Government.

During the debate, Senator Roy Barreras denounced that in the bombing that was carried out on August 29 against a group of FARC dissidents, seven minors died, including a twelve-year-old girl.


The debate raised the scandal, especially when the former minister took the floor and did not deny the accusation but insisted on the danger of the group of bombed dissidents.

The death of the seven minors opened all the morning debates and increased after the Prosecutor's Office raised the number of minors killed to eight in an operation that had been celebrated by President Iván Duque and in which 14 people died in total.

Senator Barreras, who is part of the U Party that supported the Government of Juan Manuel Santos, even gave the names of seven of the dead children: Ángela Gaitán, 12 years old; Sandra Vargas, 16; Diana Medina, 16; José Rojas, 15; Jhon Pinzón, 17; Wílmer Castro, 17, and Abimiler Morales, 17.

That military operation had occurred shortly after FARC former peace negotiator Iván Márquez announced that he was returning to arms with a group of former guerrillas and was understood as a blow against those who could join his group.


The accusations against Botero were growing from all angles of the Colombian political board and made presage that he would become the prime minister dismissed by a motion of parliamentary censorship in Colombia.

The case even led to the executive director for the Americas of the NGO Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, asking the minister "for a serious response to Colombians on this complaint."

More overwhelming was Senator Antonio Sanguino, of the Green Alliance Party, who assured Efe that the situation for the Minister of Defense has only two exits: "the resignation as it should be the consequence if it is responsible … or that the Senate of the Republic opens the motion of censure, which would result in the fulminant separation of his office. "


At the end of the afternoon Botero fulfilled the forecasts and presented his resignation before Duque with a letter in which he did not mention the case that pushed him until his resignation nor to other accusations presented by Barreras about the return of the "false positives", name that is known to the murder of civilians who were presented by the military as guerrillas killed in combat in the Presidency of Álvaro Uribe, mentor of the current president.

Nor to the security crisis that exists in several regions of the country.

On the contrary, he congratulated himself on the decline of hectares planted with coca in the country since he considered that the real "enemy of Colombia is drug trafficking."

"More coca is less peace, more coca is less life, more coca is less forest, more coca is less youth, more coca is less work, more coca is less company, more coca is less democracy," he said in the letter that has public fact and in which there is no reference to the controversial bombing.


Shortly after he made his resignation public, Duque announced through his Twitter account that he temporarily appointed General Luis Fernando Navarro, current commander of the Military Forces.

"Our commitment is to continue ensuring the safety of Colombians and combat any criminal activity," he said.

Duque thanked Botero "his commitment, sacrifice and leadership in the sector".


After the resignation, Barreras wrote in his Twitter account that "it is time to think about the country" and for this Duke must summon the unit around 3 issues: respect for the peace signed with the FARC and that the new minister be "someone who rebuilds that confidence taken by the mistakes, deceits and insensitivity" of Botero.

In addition, he asked for "an economic agenda that manages to stop the unemployment that continues to grow, that eases the burdens of the middle class and that reactivates the economy"

The representative to the Chamber of the Green Alliance Inti Asprilla intervened in Congress where he said he felt anger, rage and "pain of homeland" in the case and claimed after learning "that 7 children today already confirmed eight were killed in the middle of a bombing of the Armed Forces. "

Left-wing senator Gustavo Bolívar, from the List of Decency, said they now go "for the rest"

"The problem is not the minister. The problem is the model that despises the human being, nature, animals to enrich the richest," he said through Twitter.

Gonzalo Domínguez Loeda

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